Over at Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs I clear up still more obfuscations:
The articles come almost daily now: Muslim (and non-Muslim) authorities assuring us that what the Islamic State and other jihad terrorists do — mass murders, beheadings, rapes, destruction — has nothing do with Islam, despite the jihadis’ quotations of the Qur’an and screams of “Allahu akbar.” And every day, mainstream outlets such as Newsweek here are eager to publish them — eager to reassure jittery Infidels that all these dismaying dismays of hatred and violence perpetrated in the name of Islam don’t mean what they seem to mean, and that they need not pressure their political leaders to deal more realistically with the jihad threat.
And so we come to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, telling us that “There’s No Place for Terror in the Teachings of Islam”: that’s the title of this article by Shawki Allam, The Grand Mufti of Egypt, published in Newsweek on March 17, 2015.
The Grand Mufti of Egypt — so august a personage wouldn’t lie to us, would he? Let’s see.
Every Muslim is in utter shock about the senseless, appalling and cowardly attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and the other senseless violence against innocents we have seen since in Copenhagen and Libya.
Right out of the box — “every Muslim” is in “utter shock” over the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre? Every one? So those 800,000 Muslims in Chechnya who demonstrated not against the murders, but against the Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons, were shocked and appalled by the murders but decided to protest against the cartoons that led to the murders? And similarly shocked by the murders but not shocked enough to keep from protesting against the cartoons were the tens of thousands of Muslims who demonstrated in Pakistan, and Iran, and elsewhere? Muslims in Niger burned down 45 churches in their rage against the cartoons — were they in utter shock over the cartoonists’ murder as well?
On the other side, meanwhile, how many Muslims displayed their utter shock over the murder of the cartoonists by demonstrating against Sharia blasphemy laws and in favor of the freedom of expression? Why, none. None at all.
Not a good start for the Mufti in terms of giving us an honest presentation, but maybe he will pick up his game.
Let us say it plainly: These horrific acts are a complete violation of Islamic law and norms, and the perpetrators are in no way representative of Muslim people or the religion of Islam.
God upholds the sanctity of life as a universal principle. The Koran states in 4:29: “And do not kill one another, for God is indeed merciful unto you.” Islam views murder as both a crime punishable by law in this world and as a major sin punishable in the Afterlife. As Prophet Muhammad said, “The first cases to be decided among the people on the Day of Judgment will be those of blood-shed.”
You’ll notice that the Mufti omitted a few Qur’an verses that may be pertinent in this context, such as:
2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying….”
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”
8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.”
9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed…”
47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks…”
The Mufti would no doubt say that none of these actually mean that Muslims should kill anyone, and that their plain meaning is not what they really mean at all. Maybe so (although if it is so, there sure are a lot of misunderstanders of Islam among Muslims), but when he presents Qur’an 4:29 as if it were a general principle in Islam, and presents Islam’s prohibition of murder as if it were a blanket condemnation of terrorism without defining either term, it is not unreasonable to ask him how he understands these verses, and what he says to Muslims who think that when they say “kill them wherever you find them” actually means “kill them wherever you find them.” But he doesn’t explain in this article.
This is in keeping as well with Muslim tradition, which rejects terror and violence. This teaching is best shown in the example of the Prophet Muhammad, whose honorable birth was recently celebrated by 1.6 billion Muslims. For Muslims, Prophet Muhammad is the beacon of mercy, the sparkle of compassion, the spring of wisdom and the perfect guide in their journey towards God.
Here is some of that mercy and compassion in stories about Muhammad from Islamic tradition: Muhammad ordered the deaths of Abu Afak, who was over one hundred years old, and the poetess Asma bint Marwan, for making fun of him. Abu Afak was killed in his sleep, in response to Muhammad’s question, “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” Similarly, Muhammad on another occasion cried out, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of his followers, ‘Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: “You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr!” (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676)
Then there was Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf. Muhammad asked: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)
“A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.” (Sunan Abu-Dawud 38.4349)
It is therefore ironic and sad that fanatics and extremists have reduced the prophetic example to a set of rituals, crooked projections and warped logic that run counter to the true essence and mission of the Prophet.
They have reduced Islam to slitting throats, burning schools and oppressing women and to killing religious minorities, terrorizing communities and violating the human rights of people in the most blatant manner possible.
Oh no, it’s much more than that. It’s also boasting of Islam’s imminent conquest of Europe and the U.S., and endless whining and claiming victimhood whenever anyone points out that all this is going on.
They ignore the Prophet’s well-documented and indisputable example.
Ask Asma bin Marwan and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf about that.
They fail to comprehend that faith is ultimately about cultivating a relationship with God, one that cannot be complete unless humans abide by the Divine attributes of mercy, compassion and kindness and treat their fellow man accordingly.
Prophet Muhammad was repeatedly subjected to terrible treatment by his enemies but he consistently disregarded these insults and instead took the path of forgiveness, mercy and compassion.
Just one time I’d like to see a Muslim authority who claims this address the stories I quoted above. But it will never happen. There is no way that anyone who is familiar with the Muslim traditions about Muhammad can honestly claim that he was a model of patience, tolerance and compassion. The Mufti is relying on his readers not knowing about those stories and others like them.
This is why he is known to Muslims as “the Mercy to all worlds.” Indeed, this example is most succinctly summarized in the Koran itself, which instructs believers as follows: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better.”
He is only mercy to those who become Muslim. Those who do not, he says their lives and property are not safe from him: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah.” (Sahih Muslim 30)
There is reform, and there is deception. It is clear from his misleading omissions that the Mufti is engaged in the latter.